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Childhood Treats: Peanut Butter Balls and No Bake Cookies

There is something comforting in the foods we ate as children. They are usually simple and easy to make, short on ingredients, and big on flavor without being spicy or complex or fancy. And, of course, they always have wonderful memories associated with them!

Here are some of our favorite childhood treats–peanut butter balls from me, and no bake cookies from my husband. The peanut butter balls are delicious and relatively wholesome, and the no bake cookies taste like fudge. Is it any wonder we liked these when we were growing up?!

Peanut Butter Balls
I made peanut butter fudge last Christmas. It was a lot of work and turned out to be a disappointment. These tasty treats, on the other hand, come together in about 5 minutes and taste amazing! Don’t tell the kids, but I’m the one who polished off the last four or five!

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; mix well. Using your hands, roll the dough into balls about the size of large gumballs. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, and refrigerate until set.

No Bake Cookies
When my husband wanted to make these for me for the first time, I was skeptical. I didn’t think they could be that good. But they are that good! We routinely eat the entire batch in one sitting!

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded coconut
3 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup mini marshmallows

Combine sugar, milk, butter, cocoa powder, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients, and stir well. Drop by spoonful onto waxed paper to cool.

17 thoughts on “Childhood Treats: Peanut Butter Balls and No Bake Cookies

  1. “No-Bake Cookies” is a much nicer way to call those yummies.

    Greg’s family calls them “Monkey Poop Cookies”. It’s hard to enjoy them with that name.

  2. I’m striking Monkey Poop Cookies from my memory! I used to make no-bake bars which were similar and loved them! I’m definitely going to try the peanut butter balls. Peanut butter is huge in our house, and they do seem rather “healthy”!

  3. One of the first cookies I learned to make on my own were the no bake cookies. I could feed the entire neighborhood with them. Unfortunately we also had a name for them that involved poop.

    1. In our family we called them cow dung cookies. And to enhance the experience, our cookie jar was a ceramic duck so we would say, “Hey, get me a cow dung cookie out of the duck’s butt.”

  4. Those peanut butter balls are almost exactly like a recipe for edible peanut butter playdough my Mother used to make, just minus the oats!

  5. The peanut butter balls taste just like my mom’s. Luckily we made no bake cookies also. But ive never heard of them by any other name.?

  6. My children are in your thirties and forties. I have 4 of them. One in particular keeps begging me to make peanut butter balls like I did when they was little. I don’t remember my recipe. I do remember using real sugar with powdered sugar and sifting them together. Yes I have to try this recipe maybe mine will come back to me my kids really loved them couldn’t make enough.

    1. Good luck, Bea! Peanut Butter Balls are definitely a childhood favorite. Hopefully these turn out like the ones your kids remember. xoxo

  7. I’m almost 67 years old & I remember these treats from grade school lunches. The lunch ladies would make them & we would devour them. It wasn’t until later that I discovered the recipe & made them for my own kids. Now my daughter & I are making them for my eight-year-old grandson. I sure hope he loves them like we do!!

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